It was an all-Somali affair last weekend at the Metro Transit police when Somali-American police officers found themselves in one shift, without their American counterparts.
Traditionally, the policemen with a Somali origin have never found themselves in one shift, without their American colleagues.
Of the 120 full-time officers who work for Metro Transit, seven are Somali-American.
“We took calls, we took care of people just like we do every day and that to me was an amazing experience,” said Abdiasis Mohamed, one of the officers.
Mohamed became a police officer at Metro Transit, Minnesota in 2018 and moved to US when he was eight of age.
“We were all just sitting there, and we kind of just came together and it wasn’t planned at all,” he said.
According to the Somali American Police Association, there are eight Somali police officers in Minneapolis, three at St Paul, two at Columbia Heights, one at Ramsey Sheriffs, one at Rochester, one at Mankato and one at Eden Prairie. In total, they are 24 at the Minnesota State.
According to Jaylani Hussein of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the Somali-American police officers are significant in handling Somali population in the state which has been growing.
“They’re more likely to engage in a calm and collective way, and anxiety may be reduced (to) know that somebody that looks like you is actually on the other side of the call,” said Hussein.
Metro Transit is the primary public transportation operator in the Minneapolis–Saint Paul area of the U.S. state of Minnesota and the largest operator in the state.